SPROUTS

What is sprouts?

Sprouts are miracle food, a great source of nutrients having high food potency. Sprouts are germinated seeds of grains or legumes. In the process of germination, it acquires properties of growing and preserving the life which will help in rejuvenation and health promotions. In Naturopathy, sprouts are considered as living food. Sprouts are alkaline in nature and very beneficial in promoting health, detoxification and building immunity.

Why sprouts?

 

In today’s scenario, people are more and more dependent on readymade acidic and junk foods which are the cause of many hitherto unknown disease conditions- right from obesity to life threatening cancer. It is believed that our food should be 20% acidic and 80% alkaline. Introduction of sprouts as part of daily food will help to balance the ratio.

It only stands to reason that from the seed to the full-grown plant, there are different nutrients, and some are in concentrated form. The vitamin E content which boosts your immune system and protects cells from free radical damage, for example, can be as high as 7.5 mg in a cup of broccoli sprouts compared to 1.5 mg in the same amount of raw or cooked broccoli.

Can everyone take sprouts?

Everyone can take sprouts. Initially it should be taken in small quantity and must be chewed well to digest. It can be added with cucumber, tomato, green chillies, coriander leaves and lemon to make it tastier and nutritious.

What are seeds that can be sprouted?

Seeds of sun flower, moth bean, green gram (moong), fenugreek (methi), alfa alfa, gram, soya bean, almond, amaranth, wheat, groundnut etc.

How to prepare sprouts?

Select fresh, new, clean healthy untreated seeds. Wash the seeds thoroughly several times with clean water. Then soak the seeds for 8-10 hrs (overnight), strain and put them in a clean cloth, secure with tight knot. It can be hanged at some safe place; within 24 hrs it will start germinating and can be used for consumption.

Benefits of sprouts:

  • Sprouts are natural, fresh and completely living food.
  • They are excellent source of vitamins and minerals as the amount of vitamin C , iron, niacin and phosphorus increases after sprouting.
  • The starch present in these seeds will be converted into glucose, fructose and  maltose — they improve the taste as well as the digestibility.
  • They are easy to prepare, cost effective and less adulterated.
  • You get from sprout 43 percent of the daily recommended value in vitamin K (for bone strength and formation and increased protection from neuronal damage in the brain, which is helpful in treating Alzheimer’s disease). You also get 23 percent of the desired value in vitamin C (a proven infection fighter) and 16 percent of the folate (required for DNA, the genetic material found in all cells of the body, and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, without which our chances of developing anaemia, heart disease, stroke, and cancer would increase).
  • Besides vitamins C, A, and K, sprouts contain fiber, manganese, riboflavin, copper, protein, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. One can easily get the required amount of these essential vitarnins and minerals from sprouts which will generate benefits for nearly every area of the body.
  • When you eat sprouted foods, you increase highly concentrated proteolytic enzymes that make carbohydrates and proteins digestible.
  • Sprouts as young as three days old contain 10 to 100 times the glucoraphanin, the main enzyme inducer, of the mature vegetable, which helps protect against chemical cancer-causing agents.

Studies on Sprouts:

Sulforaphane, a natural compound derived from broccoli sprouts, was examined in a clinical study for its ability to inhibit breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the potential mechanism. Scientists found it to their surprise thatit not only decreases the breast cancer cell population, but also reduces the size and number of primary mammospheres (cell clusters) by 65 to 80 percent.

The conclusion of the study: Sulforaphane inhibits breast CSCs and down-regulates the self-renewal pathway, which supports the use of sulforaphane for the chemoprevention of breast cancer stem cells .

Another study was conducted to evaluate the biological, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, an enzyme that inhibits toxic alcohol molecules compromising our nervous systems 2), and antiproliferative activities of different extracts of mung bean seeds and sprouts. All extracts from the sprouts showed higher contents of total phenolics, total flavonoids, and the diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity than from seeds. The sprout extracts were more effective against human pulmonary carcinoma and human gastric carcinoma cells than the seeds.

The conclusion was that “sprout extracts could be a source of antioxidants with health benefits

So eat sprouts or sprout some — they’re a mega-healthy food we can all live with

DO YOU REALLY NEED TO TAKE MULTI VITAMINS?

MULTI VITAMINS

For keeping a sound health, we need many different vitamins and minerals to function in harmony in our body. Vitamins and minerals offer us protection against a host of ailments, including heart disease and some types of cancers, such as colon and cervical cancer. We can get most of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need daily by choosing the right foods and eating a wide variety of them.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, some people have fixed ideas, a mindset that daily exercise and a tablet of multivitamins work better. While they might make you feel like you have adapted a healthier lifestyle, number of research studies suggests that supplements are not always beneficial.

Naturopaths recommend food first because foods provide a variety of vitamins and minerals and also dietary factors that are not found in a vitamin or mineral supplement. Fruits and vegetables contain many biologically active ingredients that may help prevent cancer in ways that vitamins and minerals alone do not. The people should know “Is it really needed to take a multivitamin to boost our health”? If you already eat a healthy diet, there may be less overall benefit from taking the extra vitamins.

Make a better plate: Healthy eating plate is made up of one-half vegetables and fruits, one-quarter whole grains, and one-quarter healthy protein. “whole” and “healthy” are important words here. Refined grains (like white breads, pastas, and rice) have less fiber and fewer nutrients than whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread and brown rice. Healthy proteins include beans, and nuts (vegetarian).

More on vegetables and fruits: Vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and contain many vitamins and minerals as well as hundreds of beneficial plant chemicals (photochemical) that you can’t get in supplements. In long-term observational studies, people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain, and those who eat more fruit also have a lower risk of stroke.

All you have to do to get the proper vitamins and nutrients is to eat a varied and balanced diet. A few essential vitamins and their easy source are being mentioned here.

Calcium: Calcium is a mineral that is important for strong bones and teeth, so there are special recommendations for older people who are at risk for bone loss. You can get calcium from milk and milk products, but always remember to choose fat-free or low-fat whenever possible, some forms of tofu, darkgreen leafy vegetables, and soybeans.

Vitamin A: The highest concentration of vitamin A is found in sweet potatoes. One medium sized baked sweet potato contains more than 28,000 IU of Vitamin A. Spinach, milk and carrot also are good sources.

Vitamin B6: Good news for vegetarians—is the chickpea or bean. One cup of canned chickpea contains 1.1 mg of Vitamin B6.

Vitamin B12: Milk is a great source for calcium, but it is also a source for vegetarians with B12 deficiency. Fortified foods are a good vegetarian source of vitamin B-12. These include soy products.

Vitamin C: Most people think of citrus when they think of vitamin C, but sweet red peppers actually contain more of the vitamin C than any other food. Other good sources include kiwi fruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds and almonds are two most common source of Vitamin E.

Iron: There are two forms of dietary iron: eme iron (found in animal foods such as red meat, fish, and poultry) and non heme iron (found in plant sources like lentils and beans).

Iron: Non heme iron found in plant sources like lentils and beans.

Vitamin K: Green leafy vegetables are the best source of this vitamin, also known as phylloquinone. Cabbage, cauliflower, and spinach (about 1 mg per cup) are rich sources Vitamin K.

Lycopene: Tomatoes are the best-known source of lycopene.

Omega-3 fatty acids: There are two categories of Omega-3 fatty acids: Alphalinolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant sources such as vegetable oil, green vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

While diet is the key to getting the best vitamins and minerals, supplements can help. For instance, if you are doing your best to eat healthy foods but still are deficient in some areas, supplements can help. The key is to ensure they are taken in addition to healthy diet choices and nutrient-dense foods. They are supplements, not replacements.

ACHING BACK

Pain in the lower back is very common. Fortunately, 70 percent of people who have low back pain get better within two weeks. And more than 90 percent get better within four to six weeks.

Inflammation (swelling) of the joints, muscles or discs in the back often causes low back pain. Physical activities especially repetitive lifting, bending and twisting can make low back pain worse. Poor posture also can worsen low back pain. Rarely do serious problems, such as infection or other medical conditions, cause low back pain.

ACHING BACK

Types of Low Back Pain:

Acute Low Back Pain: Low back pain that lasts for six weeks or less is called acute low back pain, lumbar muscle strain or backache. Although quite painful, it usually improves after a few days of simple care.

Acute Sciatica: Acute sciatica is low back pain that lasts for six weeks or less and extends below the waist. It also is called radiating leg pain. Feeling better usually takes longer than with acute low back pain. Nerve irritation in the lower back often causes sciatica pain.

Chronic Low Back Pain & Sciatica: Back pain and sciatica that lasts longer than six weeks with no significant improvement is considered chronic. Specialized treatment may be needed.

Signs to look out for: Immediately visit your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Constant night pain.
  • Fever.
  • Urinary difficulties, such as incontinence and retention.
  • Numbness around your anus or genitals.
  •  Weakness, numbness or unsteadiness in your legs.

Treatment:

The following simple recommendations may help control your pain:

Bed Rest: Prolonged bed rest is not necessary for most back problems. Staying in bed for more than two days may increase the pain and stiffness. Moderate activity that does not significantly worsen the pain is more helpful.

Ice and Heat: Ice or cold packs can reduce the pain and swelling of a muscle strain or spasm (tightening of the muscle). Use ice or cold packs for 20 minutes three or four times a day during the first few days. A hot bath or heating pad after 72 hours of the onset of the injury may further reduce pain. Continue to use ice as long as it helps reduce the pain.

Stress Management: Learning to effectively manage everyday stress can help your recovery.

Posture, sleeping and weight: Good posture keeps the body’s weight aligned and reduces stress on the back muscles. When sitting, use a chair with enough lower back support or place a pillow behind your back. Change positions frequently.

When sleeping, lie on your back with a pillow under your knees or on your side with a pillow between your lower legs.

Being overweight increases stress on the lower back. Weight loss is important to prevent future problems. Also, smoking can cause back pain and hamper relief.

Return to your usual activities: It is important that you return to your daily activities at the earliest. While you can expect some discomfort, getting back to regular activities helps prevent your back from becoming weak and stiff. Avoid lifting heavy objects and repetitive bending and twisting.

Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy can help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. A physiotherapist can provide a variety of treatments including special exercises, gentle manual techniques, pain-relieving tools. They help you understand your problem and get you back to your normal activities. They can also give advice on how you can prevent symptoms returning in the future, for example by teaching the correct way to lift heavy objects.

Exercise:

To help in your recovery and to prevent further back problems, keep yourself in good physical condition and your back, abdominal muscles and legs strong. Walk daily as soon as you can and gradually add other activities such as yoga and swimming.

ORAL HYGIENE AND DIET

Maintaining a good oral health seems simple, but people need to know the basics of how to brush properly. Yes, we do brush our teeth every day, but are we doing it right? It is important as the healthier your mouth is, the healthier our body will be. Here are some tips to maintain good oral health.

 Brush Properly:

  • Make sure thatyou are brushing every tooth and every angle of your teeth.
  • Take time in brushing. You should brush for at least 2-3 minutes.
  • Brush yourtongue. The tongue needs to be cleaned. Apart from a good oral health, it will help prevent bad breath.

Floss regularly: Brushing is not enough, you should also consider flossing on a daily basis. Make sure to floss after eating breakfast and dinner.

Visit the Dentist regularly: Your dentist will not only check your mouth, but will also tell you how to maintain a good oral health.

Healthy teeth and gums not only give you a beautiful smile, but also indicate good oral health and hygiene that play a very important role in your life. Good oral hygiene helps prevent cavities and stained or yellowed teeth, as well as bad breath. It is essential to your overall health as well. Studies suggest that in addition to oral problems, oral bacteria and inflammation can lead to many other health problems, including heart disease, strokes, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, diabetes and oral cancer. Women with oral disease also show higher incidences of preterm, low birth-weight babies. In addition, gum disease, tooth pain or other oral issues can affect people psychologically. The health of your teeth and gums has a direct influence on how you look, speak, chew and taste food. It can even make some people shy away from socializing. Also, dental treatments are expensive and good oral health can help you save great deal of money.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy from childhood to old age. For good oral health, the first step is to maintain proper oral hygiene. It means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing once or twice a day (preferably after dinner), rinsing your mouth after each meal and using a mouthwash at least once daily.

1. Oil Pulling – Oil pulling, also known as oil swishing, is an age-old practice used in Ayurveda that helps strengthen the teeth, gums and jaw while preventing tooth decay. It helps draw out bacteria from the mouth, keeps your gums healthy and brightens your teeth.

2. Turmeric: Turmeric contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep the gums healthy and teeth free from bacterial infection.

+ Add a little water to 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder to make a paste. Brush your teeth with it, a few times a week.

+ You can also boil 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 cup of water, allow it to cool  and use it as a mouthwash once daily.

3. Indian Lilac: Indian lilac, also known as neem, has antibacterial properties that help maintain oral health by easily destroying bacteria, gingivitis and gum disease.

+ Grind 2 or 3 neem leaves into a paste. Use this paste to brush your teeth.

+ You can even use a twig from a neem tree to brush your teeth.

4. Green Tea: The natural fluoride, polyphenols and catechism in green tea can destroy the bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath.

+ Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea every day.

5. Liquorice: Liquorice root may help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Two predominant compounds in liquorice licoricidin and licorisoflavan, help kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.

6. Basil: It works as an excellent mouth freshener and oral disinfectant. It can help destroy germs and bacteria, thus protecting them from falling out.

+ Dry a handful of fresh basil leaves in the
sun for a couple of days, then make a powder from the dried leaves. Use this powder to brush your teeth.

+ Chew 4 to 5 basil leaves daily.

7. Salt: Salt can help strengthen the gums and teeth. Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

BEWARE OF COMMON SALT

Eat less salt

Salt is a crystalline material made up of two elements – sodium and chloride. Sodium and chloride are absolutely essential for life. The daily recommended amount is no more than 6 gms a day. Usually what we call salt may be sea salt, rock salt etc. They serve important functions like helping brain and nerves, send electric impulses to keep healthy balance of water and minerals in our body. Small amount of salt is essential for our health. Adults need less than I gm per day and children even less. As a nation we are all eating approximately 8.1 gm of salt per day, far more than we need and more than the recommended maximum of 6 gm per day, putting us at risk of many a health problem. The good news is that reducing your salt intake can lower your blood pressure and the risk of other diseases.

Lifestyle disease develops silently through our unconscious habits and behavior affecting our physical health and well-being in the long run. Our habits are eating high salt in our diet. If there is a wound in any part of body and if you sprinkle a little salt over it, you will feel burning sensation immediately. Likewise, if salt in our food exceeds the maximum doses, it can damage the lining of stomach, making it more vulnerable.

Salt is used in our daily life for various purposes, the most common being in the kitchen to add taste to food. This tasty yet potentially harmful substance live to hide in food you eat every day and those all are not just too obvious as table salt. Sodium hides in your food in various forms and carries with it the risks.

Sodium (salt) essentially produces a progressive increase in thirst. For every I gm of salt, 70 ml of water should be drunk to dissolve, and we cannot utilize the water which is already present inside the body because if the quantity of water in the body reduces, the concentration of salt increases in the body. Salt contains 0.03% of calcium, 0.09% of potassium, less than 0.01% of magnesium and 39.1 % of sodium.

The reason salt is often perceived as unhealthy if taken in large amounts is that it can bind water in blood stream and raise blood pressure. Salt is a major influencing factor for obesity. The salt diet makes your kidneys release more water, increase the volume of blood your heart pumps and can lead to health problems relating to heart, kidney and also harm your nervous system. Further, it carries the risks of osteoporosis, stomach cancer and stroke. Salt mainly targets the people over 50 years. Diet rich in salt swells up the body.

Types of salt:

Sea salt, kocherssalt, Himalayan pink salt, Celtic salt, seasoned salt, sendha namak (Himalayan rock salt) , kalanamak.

The main benefit of using or choosing natural salt is that you avoid additives and anti caking agents that are often added to regular table salt. According to Ayurveda, sendha namak is best for eating. The next best is kalanamak.

Salts favorite hiding places:

Salt lurks in unsuspected places like processed foods, snacks, canned eatables soups, cheese, sauces, muffins, pickles, ketchups, papads, meat, instant bread etc.

Advantages of not taking salt:

  • Low salt diet reduces obesity.
  • Aims at stronger bones in post menopausal women.
  • Aims good cardiovascular health.
  • Less risk of stroke, hypertension and chronic kidney diseases.
  • By taking salt free diet kidney excrete already accumulated salt.
  • By taking only fruits and vegetables a person can reduce 5 kg of body weight.

Disadvantages of taking more salt:

Osteoporosis, obesity, heart attack, kidney stones, coronary heart disease, stomach cancer, diabetes, child hood obesity etc.

Tips to reduce salt intake:

  • Avoid fast food, restaurants.
  • Check labels on processed foods.
  • Menus which are often chock full of sodium.
  • Look to spices, herbs and citrus cilantro, ginger, lemon juice and garlic.
  • If you can’t buy fresh ingredients, look for low sodium on nutrition labels (more than 500 mg).
  • Eat less, consuming less food altogether increases your odds of consuming less salt.
  • Hide the salt shaker.
  • Give your palate some time as our palates are used for salty food – its everywhere.
  • Also you should make sure you eat at least 5 portions of fruits, vegetables per day.

Conclusion:

At the end of the day salt is salt, its main purpose is to add flavor or taste, not nutrition.

Prevent Coronary Heart Disease (CAD)

Coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease is a group of disease which includes stable angina, unstable angina, myocardial infarction and sudden death. The mechanism involves reduction of blood flow and oxygen to the heart due to deposits of plaque in the artery (made up of fat, calcium, abnormal cells) known as Atherosclerosis.

 Major Risk Factors:

  • Smoking or tobacco in any form
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol level

 Predisposing Risks Factors:

  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance.
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Family history ofCHD.
  • Advanced age 

Symptoms:

  • Chest pain is the common symptom.
  • Discomfort in the chest which travels to shoulder, arm, back and neck.
  • Pain precipitated by exertion or emotions.
  • Other symptoms include shortness of breath, restlessness, sweating, nausea, vomiting. 

Diagnosis:

E.C.G, Holter Monitor OL, Cardiogram, Stress Test, C.T. Scan, Coronary Catheterization, Nuclear Ventriculography and ABI-Ankle Brachial Index mainly meant for females for early diagnosis. Measuring blood pressure at the ankle and the arm and comparing the results. If the pressure is significantly lower at the ankle, it indicates heart trouble. 

Management:

Indians are genetically prone to get CAD. It is a self-created disease due to negligence, improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress. 

Diet:

  • Vitamin C – rich in citrus fruit and adequate intake helps slow down the ageing process, protects against spontaneous breaches in capillary wall which leads to heart attack.
  • Intake of Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in cell level. Potassium alone helps to get rid of excess sodium controlling B.P Afruit like banana and avocado helps.
  • Aax seeds, CoenzymeQlO, fiber, lecithincontrols CAD by reversing the process of atherosclerosis.
  • Arjuna – Since ancient times, bark of this tree was used for treating heart disease.
  • Garlic-Consuming directly or crushed garlic mixed in milk controls CAD.
  • Honey – Tones the heart and improves the circulation, prevents palpitation.
  • Nuts – Walnut and almonds which are high in calorie, required in few numbers helps increase HDL.
  • Black grapes and pomegranate-Phytochemicals present in these fruits are known to be the heart protective.
  • Green Tea – Improves function of endothelial cells thereby reduces the risk of clogged arteries.
  • Control the portion of food by adding more of vegetables.

Avoid: Red meat, white flour, bakery products burter, cheese, junk/fast/fried foods, smoking and alcohol.

Practice: 

Fasting – Body needs break to repair itself, weekly one day fasting helps to utilize the stored energy and cleanses the body.

Exercise – One should exercise 45% to 80% of maximum heart rate for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Whole body exercise like walking, swimming, cycling are ideal. Exercise helps control weight, regulates sugar, lowers blood pressure, increases good cholesterol and reduces the workload on heart.

Yoga – It has a direct and powerful impact on heart muscles. Asanas like Tadasana, Trikonasana, Katichakrasana, Bhujangasana, Katichalana, Ardapavanmuktasana, Parvatasana, help to improve pumping action of heart and maintain elasticity of blood vessels. When practiced with breathing awareness it controls anger, calms the mind.

Pranayama – Like anuloma viloma, sukhapranayama, sheetali, bhramari makes breathing more relaxed and efficient. Shavasana, Meditation and Yoganidra improve cardiac performance and reduction in daily stress.

Naturopathy Treatments: 

  • Mud pack – Relaxes the mind and body.
  • Cold Hip bath – Helps to reduce fat around the waist, controls high B.P, Cholesterol, sugar level.
  • Neutral immersion bath with friction – Helps to dilate the contracted vessels, reduces viscosity of the blood and improves circulation.
  • Cold Spinal Bath – Reduces High B.P and stimulates cardiac activity.
  • Oil Massage – Helps to relax the person and improve circulation.
  • Full Wet Pack – Helps for sweating, improves peripheral circulation.

Listen to your body, believe in your symptoms and take action. Take short nap to refresh one self. Cultivate a calm mind and tranquil. Balance work with play.

Prediabetes and Nature Cure Management

Prediabetes is a serious health condition which, however, offers a great opportunity to prevent type 2 diabetes or at least defer the disease of type 2 diabetes. Elevated sugar levels in the blood put you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes but you can take the steps to prevent it.

This stage is a precursor of diabetes. In this condition blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not quite enough to diagnose as type 2 diabetes. This precursor condition is also known as impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose, which we can diagnose with simple blood test. We should consider this condition seriously without using any medication or treatment. We can reverse or post pone the diabetes by making simple changes in lifestyle.

Science of prediabetes

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas and released into the bloodstream. When the body breaks down carbohydrates from the food we eat into glucose, also known as blood sugar, insulin helps the body’s cells to absorb the glucose and use it for energy. If the cells have developed a condition called insulin resistance where in they have lost the sensitivity to insulin, although the body still produces insulin, it is not used effectively, causing glucose to build up in the blood instead of being absorbed by cells. This increase in blood glucose leads to prediabetes, and eventually type 2 diabetes, if left untreated. 

Who is at risk?

Many are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. This is partially because prediabetes usually has no symptoms. It’s important to know the risk factors. 

You may have pre-diabetes if you:

  • Are overweight.
  • Are age 45 or older.
  • Have a family history of pre – diabetes or type 2 diabetes
  • Are African American, Alaska Native, Hispanic / Latino, or Pacific Islander American,
  • Have hypertension (high blood pressure) or high cholesterol,
  • Participate in physical activity fewer than three times per week,
  • Have had gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant) or have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds. 

Causes

Although family history and genetics appear to play an important role, especially abdominal fat – and inactivity also seem to be important factors in the development of pre -diabetes.

Diagnosis based on Hbalc

According to American diabetic association A1C less than 5.7 is normal, 5.7–6.4 is prediabetes, 6.5 and above is diabetes.

Naturopathic approach

Nature cure is lifestyle modification science. It strongly believes in prevention. In nature cure we are not treating the disease; we are supporting the body by following the fundamentals of nature. By that body can overcome the disease. As a part of it we have to follow a modified lifestyle. It includes intake of natural & nutritious food, at least 3-4 liters of clean and purified water, regular exercise and adequate sleep.

Naturopathic treatments will enhance the functions of all internal organs and improve the secretions of endocrinal glands in quality and quantity and reduce the insulin resistance. Taking to naturopathic way of life will bring down the weight reducing the unnecessary fat mass from the body to achieve the healthy BMI which will contribute to prevent diabetes.

A study on pre diabetics

  • Group 1: Lifestyle changes. Participants in this group exercised for 30 minutes a day and lowered their caloric and fat intake.
  • Group 2: Diabetes education. This group received information about diet and exercise and took a placebo-a pill without any active medication in it.

The study found that those in lifestyle group had the best benefits, averaging 6kg of weight loss, cutting the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%over 3years.

  • In addition to lifestyle changes such as achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity and eating a healthy diet, talk to your healthcare provider about what prevention methods are right for you.

It is time for you to take your health seriously at the first sight of symptoms of pre diabetes, lest you will suffer irrevocably.

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat technically means excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation. In other words, it is known as a “deep” fat that is stored further underneath the skin than “subcutaneous” belly fat. It is a form of gellike fat that is actually wrapped around major organs, including the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Visceral fat is especially dangerous because, as you will find out, these fat cells do more than just sit there and cause your pants to feel tight – they also change the way your body operates. 

Types of fat

There are different types of fat present in the body. Brown fat, white fat, subcutaneous fat, visceral fat, belly fat, and thigh fat.

  1. Brown fat: Scientists have found that lean people tend to have more brown fat than overweight or obese people.
  2. White fat: White fat is more plentiful than brown. It is to store energy and produce hormones that are then secreted into the blood stream
  3. Subcutaneous fat: It is found directly underneath the skin. It is fat that is measured using skin fold calipers to estimate your total bodyfat.
  4. Belly fat: It has a reserved reputation as unhealthy fat. Abdominal fat is viewed as a bigger health risk than hip or thigh fat.
  5. Thigh and buttock fat: While men tend to accumulate fat in the belly it is no secret women, especially if pear shaped, accumulate it in their thighs and buttocks.
  6. Visceral fat: Visceral or deep fat wraps around the inner organs and spells trouble for your health.

Carrying around excess visceral fat is linked with an increased risk for many fatal diseases like coronary artery disease, cancer, stroke, dementia, diabetes, depression, arthritis, obesity, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorders etc.

When there is too much glucose ill our bloodstream and our cells already have filled glycogen stores, glucose is stored as fat. The more often and longer that blood insulin levels remain high, the more likely a person is to accumulate excess body fat and to battle weight problems. Insulin also communicates with many other hormones needed for various functions, including those made in the adrenal glands, such as the stress hormone cortisol. Abnormally high levels of insulin and hormonal imbalances result in powerful urges to eat, mood changes, lack of energy and various other factors that contribute to disease formation. Hence it is very important to maintain a healthy insulin level in our blood stream. 

Management:

Research suggests that when you control diet, you mostly lose white fat, which is different than visceral fat and tends to be lost or gained evenly all over the body. You are more likely to lose visceral fat when you combine exercise with diet control. 

Naturopathy Treatments

  • Oil massage improves general health and helps in mobilising fat.
  • Mud therapy (direct & indirect).
  • Hip bath.
  • Steam & sauna bath increase the body’s basal metabolic rate and help as an adjuvant in burning fat.
  • Warm water enema, regularly for the first 3-4 days of fasting, and thereafter, every alternate day during extended periods of fasting, is beneficial.
  • Friction baths, graduated immersion baths, neutral whirlpool and underwater massage are also beneficial.
  • Fasting, initially for a period of 3-4 days, on low calorie liquids, such as lemon juice and adequate intake of fluids, is useful.
  • Fasting once a week thereafter is adequate.

Visceral fat, in fact, is an avoidable health nuisance which should not be alIowed to accumulate at all. In this, proper diet, exercise and sleep are the most important tools to help you out. 

Nutrients to protect your brain from aging 

Cocoa flavanols are found naturally in cocoa and are beneficial to your brain health;

Omega-3 fatty acids which can be had aplenty from fish, flaxseed, avocado, and nuts are going to not only help your heart health, but also give you a boost in your brainpower.

Walnuts, in particular, have been shown to fight memory loss.

Magnesium 
Scientists believe that a magnesium deficiency may play a role in cognitive decline, brain aging, and ultimately, dementia. So taking magnesium supplements - or eating foods that contain magnesium, like chard, spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds, black beans, avocados, figs, dark chocolate, or bananas can help you fight off the effects of the aging on brain.

Vitamin D – Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D called as Sunshine Vitamin is a nutrient, needed for overall health and strong bones. But as per the latest data, about 50-80% of adult Indians are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and hormone that is essential for maintaining normal calcium metabolism, muscle, cardiac and neurological functions and regulation of inflammation.

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) can be synthesised by humans in the skin upon exposure to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation from sunlight, or it can be obtained from the diet. Plants synthesise ergosterol, which is converted to vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) by Ultraviolet light. When exposure to UVB radiation is insufficient for the synthesis of adequate amounts of vitamin D3 in the skin, adequate intake of vitamin D from the diet is essential for health.

It can be found in small amounts in a few foods, including milk, whole grains, cheese, butter, and cod liver oil. To make vitamin D more available, it is added to dairy products, juices, and cereals that are then said to be fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D itself is biologically inactive, and it must be metabolised to its biologically active forms. After it is consumed in the diet or synthesised in the epidermis of skin, vitamin D enters the circulation and is transported to the liver. In the liver, vitamin D is hydroxylated to form 25-hydroxy vitamin D (calcidiol- 25-hydroxy vitamin D); the major circulating form of vitamin D. 25(OH) D is frequently measured as an index of vitamin D status. In the human body, the highest concentration of 25(OH) D is noted in the plasma.

But the largest pool of 25(OH) D is in adipose tissue and muscle.

But most of vitamin D 80% to 90% of what the body gets – is obtained through exposure to sunlight, for as little as 10 minutes.

Exposure of the hands, face, arms and legs to sunlight two to three times a week will help the skin to produce enough vitamin D and prevent deficiency. The necessary exposure time varies with age, skin type, season, time of day, etc.

Older people are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. They are less likely to spend time in the sun, have fewer “receptors” in their skin that convert sunlight to vitamin D, may not get vitamin D in their diet, may have trouble absorbing vitamin D due to aging kidneys.

Normal Levels of Vitamin D:

Ideal                                      – Is 40-60 ng/ml

Insufficient                         – Is 21-29 ng/ml

Deficient                              – Is less than 20 ng/ml

Intoxication (excess)      – Is more than 150 ng/ml

Vitamin D toxicity:

(Hypervitaminosis D) induces abnormally high serum calcium levels (hypercalcemia), which could result in bone loss, kidney stones, and calcification of organs like the heart and kidneys if untreated over a long period of time.

Naturopathy and Yoga advices the sun bath as “Heliotherapy” for vitamin D synthesis and absorption.

Every day early morning or late evening sun exposure for 20-30 minutes, yogic exercises, pranayama and barefoot walking on grass is beneficial to combat vitamin D deficiency.

Natural diet emphasizing on raw salads, sprouts, cereals, green leafy vegetables, soya milk, and nuts helps to maintain vitamin D at the optimum level.

Benefits of Vitamin D:

Bone health: Prevents osteopenla,osteoporosis, osteomalacia, Rickets and fractures

Cellular health: Prevents certain cancers, such as prostate, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, and colon; prevents infectious diseases and upper respiratory- tract infections, asthma, and wheezing disorders

Organ health: Prevents heart disease and stroke; prevents type -2 diabetes, periodontitis and tooth loss, and other inflammatory diseases

Muscular health: Supports muscle strength

Autoimmune health: Prevents multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes mellitus, crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis

Brain health: Prevents depression, schizophrenia, alzheimer’s disease, and dementia

Mood health: Prevents seasonal affective related disorder, premenstrual syndrome (PMS’, also known as premenstrual tension), and sleeping disorders, elevates the sense well-being

Kokum (Garcinia Indic)

The kokum is native to the western coastal regions of southern India and is rarely seen beyond this area. Even in India it is used only in the regional cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra and several southern states where large glasses of kokum Guice) sherbet are downed during parched summer months. In this region the sweltering heat demands refrigerant (cooling) ingredients in food and drink. Kokum is well known to counteract the heat.

Spice Description:

Kokum is a dark purple to black, sticky and with curled edges fruit. It is often halved, and dried seeds are visible in their chambers like a citrus fruit. It is usually available as a dried rind, resembling a thick plum skin. When added to food it imparts a pink to purple colour and sweet/sour taste.

Preparation and Storage:

Similar to tamarind, kokum skins are usually available as dried rind or fruit, and infused in hot water. The deeper the colour the better the kokum.

Attributed Medicinal Properties:

It is useful as an infusion, or by direct application, in skin ailments such as rashes caused by allergies. Kokum butter is an emollient helpful in the treatment of burns, scalds and chaffed skin. The fruits are steeped in sugar syrup to make amrutkokum which is drink to relieve sunstroke.

Dried kokum fruit rinds are widely used in cooking as they impart a sweetish-tangy flavor to the food. The fruits contain citric acid, acetic acid, malic acid, ascorbic acid, hydroxycitric acid and garcinol.

Medicinal Properties and Application:

Kokum fruits contain rich amounts of anti-oxidants that bind with free redicals and prevent oxidative damage to body cells. They also promote cell regeneration and repair. Extracts from the Kokum fruit are traditionally used to relieve gastric problems like acidity, flatulence, constipation and indigestion. Kokum juice is a healthier and far more refreshing option as compared to commercial bottled drinks. It acts as an appetite stimulant and also has antihelminti properties. The hydroxycitric acid present in the fruit fights cholesterol and curbs lipogenesis, thus aiding weight loss.

Availability and Use:

Dried kokum is easily available at most Indian food stores. The rinds may be soaked in hot water for a few hours to extract the juice which may be mixed with spices and consumed directly. Alternatively, you could add a few pieces of the dried rind to curries and gravies as a substitute for other souring agents like tamarind, vinegar and lemon juice.